Time to accept that shopping plan is a dud?
ON Thursday, January 4, Rochdale council’s cabinet members met to discuss the future of the proposed new retail development on the site of the old bus station.
Despite huge local interest in this long drawn-out saga, both the press and public were excluded from attending the meeting.
While some obviously thought the development was a plausible idea 10 years ago, it is now just another embarrassing example of what happens when councillors are sold a pup by consultants, so called council partnerships and senior council officers.
We are now at the stage when current councillors need to accept that too much money has already been wasted on preparing the site for a proposed retail development (£26 million of our money, when last reported). It is simply drifting along waiting for someone to put an end to it.
My personal suggestion would be to abandon the current plans and look into the feasibility of the area becoming a dedicated place of entertainment. Let’s have as a starting point, a high capacity, multi-use theatre that can cater for all types of events. A focal point for the many people of this borough to come together, have a good time and create lifelong memories.
The desire for an ever increasing number of shopping centres has peaked. That ship has sailed. However, the amount that people spend on attending concerts has doubled in the last 5 years and shows no sign of slowing down. Now as luck has it, I think the area has, by default, been made perfect for the establishment of various entertainment venues. There are excellent transport links and plenty of parking spaces. Additionally, music events, concerts, theatrical plays etc are often held during the evening. They would have minimal effect on the congested traffic flow that already exists in that particular area during peak hours.
Walk into our beautiful town hall and you are met with a large open floor area that was originally designed for cloth trading. It was never used for this because by the time the building was completed, this type of trade had decreased and the manner in which it was done had changed forever.
Several starting dates for the retail development have come and gone. Marks and Spencer has seen the light.
But will our councillors? Carl Faulkner Independent candidate Spotland and Falinge
HEALTH NOT TRIDENT PLEASE
FIRSTLY, I would like to thank the two kind women in Littleborough who offered to take me and bring me back from the Walk In Centre in Rochdale on the Saturday before Christmas, after I had had a bad fall.
I did go first to Rochdale and then was transferred to Oldham A & E. All the staff I met were kind, caring and efficient. But, and sadly there is a ‘but,’ the waiting times were horrendous - 5 hours in Rochdale and later in the evening 8 hours in Oldham.
Pain killers were handed out. The services are seriously understaffed and under resourced. One doctor who treated me said ‘we are run ragged.’
I know new ways of organising the services are being considered and that is good but nonetheless there is simply a shortage of money. You may ask where is the money coming from?
For starters, the U.S. Trident nuclear armed submarine project and its replacement could be cancelled. It is going to take £205 billion in total of public – our – money for a weapon which doesn’t keep anyone safe either here or across the world.
The biggest threats to our security, as analysed by the government, come from cyber warfare and terrorists. Think of the Manchester bombing; did having Trident on patrol prevent that? Rae Street Hare Hill Road Littleborough
‘ARTWORK’ IS IMPRESSIVE
I MUST say I admire the latest art installation to grace our town centre.
To the unsophisticated it may just look like a pile of rubble occupying the site of the former Black Box (a previous installation that fell out of favour) but to those with an artistic eye it is plainly a modern day interpretation of an 18th century folly.
It has surely been commissioned to celebrate the folly that has been Rochdale Council for generations and resulted in the sorry state of our town today. Perhaps the council could hold a competition to name this piece – I can certainly think of one or two. John Herbert Broad Lane I AM interested to know if any of the local councillors still in full time employment reimburse their employers for any time off they take on council business?
Also, they are taxed like everyone else, taking into account that certain expenses are not out of pocket expenditure. I was amazed when I read the amount of expenses the recently deposed council leader was receiving. George Smith Rochdale
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